tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN December 21, 2015 4:00pm-6:01pm EST
we are not going to hear the end of that, and we're seeing various trials of police officers going on now. there is so much unrest, it is something that the president is trying to fix, but it is not an easy problem to fix. that on theg presidential campaign trail, where donald trump and republicans are certainly favoring more law enforcement. but we have also seen some disputes publicly between the comey, aboutmes the so-called ferguson effect, and the president on this issue. i think this is going to be one of the big themes, racial unrest, and law enforcement disputes, and what is the role of law enforcement, that is going to be anything in 2016. caller: i just want to say one thing. , we are doingn
the battle of the alamo all over again. it is just that simple. in this those on the inside, different races, and people on the outside, same thing. my grandpappy told me something one time that i honestly believe. runnershem presidential -- politicians and bank robbers have something in common, they are just in it for the money. guest: i have never seen the anger at washington -- congress has really been popular, there have been times in history where congress has attracted more than a 50% approval rating, but it has been a longtime since then. i think that is an issue that senator mitch mcconnell, who hiss to preserve
republican majority, made the case that we have done some things that made us function more. the anger at washington israel. argument, and the congressional ratings, it is very low. the politicians that are running for president or seizing on that. senator ted cruz is an outsider because he is taken on the republican establishment and the democrats and infuriated a lot of them. a senator, he is claims the outsider mantle. and you want that mantle because congress is rarely popular. host: we will go to kentucky, independent. caller: you talked to so much about maccallum, mr. mcconnell might not be elected if he ran again in kentucky. the man who was just elected governor was the man who ran against him as an independent for the senate seat.
won with a black woman as his lieutenant governor. as far as immigration goes, the problem with immigration is not the influx of muslims, per se. is sharia. you differentiate between one who believes in math, and one who does not? that is the problem. when mr. trump said he proposed this ban on muslim americans entering the country, he said until they figure out what is going on up on capitol hill. guest: and we do not know when that is going to be. and it raised the issue of how policy.ce such a how would you have the government agencies do that?
apply to muslim americans who are now overseas, and they try to come back in? it is a policy that is never going to be enacted because certainly republican leaders, the ones that are there now, would not implement this. but without a doubt, it has attracted a lot of attention. donald trump did not announce this policy on a sunday show. he actually released it. this was a very deliberate proposal and his numbers about republicans went up a little bit. host: columbia, south carolina, independent. good morning. do you know what percentage of the atmosphere is co2?
co2? host: why do you ask? caller: i don't think anybody really knows. host: is this about climate change? ? what is your point? caller: tell me what you think it is. host: i'm trying to get your point so we can have bob cusack respond. .04%.: it is he does not believe in climate change. that: this is something they have grappled with, to say whether climate change is available to what man is doing on earth. -- attributable to what man is doing on earth. democratshey say the and the white house are
overreacting to climate change. the science debate will continue on. republican from oklahoma, and barbara boxer are the two at the top committees that deal with it. i could not disagree more on climate change. host: brooklyn, new york, democrat. you're on the air. caller: a quick comment. whatever the issue is with abortion, that should be between a woman, the doctor and her god. the box for the people who pay their dues for society. ,nd stop talking about abortion this country was will on immigrants. jobs, jobs, jobs.
the republicans do not want to talk about jobs because they do not have answers. guest: jobs is always going to be a big issue. this election year is going to be no different. is good to be a clarity on how you create jobs and when he going to a general election, you're going to have to have a vision of a a slogan , and thatn, a slogan is something democrats says that hillary leads i dean's a littlet more of -- needs a little bit more of. after the primaries are done and we have a republican nominee, and it will most likely be hillary clinton for the democrats, although the bernie sanders followers will tweet me and say he will win. , she could winh
all three primaries. she is going on to a strong position because of her fundraising and her numbers in southern states. does the trade debate over the transpacific partnership complicates the messaging for both democrats and republicans on jobs? guest: it does, because hillary shifted her position on trade, and specifically on the tpp deal. she has said she is now against bit, and that is something that the liberal base and the republican party is divided on. donald trump thinks this tpp deal is a terrible deal. i think it is one that they probably do not want to talk about because it does not unite their party. host: democrat, florida. there: i just want to say
are a couple of things really positive about the voice of reason and clarity. gaining,ald trump is what you think about his voice bringing to life the purpose of americans in being kind and humble and having a clear vision? divisiveness, i do not react in fear, i have faith in the polls and people coming to their senses. who do you think will be the republican candidate? guest: as far as donald trump, he would not call himself humble. he has joked about that. a slogan.s have that was one of the first things for him to do. his slogan, make america great again.
that got the candidates debating and talking about whether america was great. that was a victory for trump the cause you need that type of simple bumper sticker message. as far as who will win the republican nomination, that is difficult. i have never seen anything like this. there are three top contenders right now. that is donald trump, ted cruz, and marco rubio. jeb bush has been struggling. maybe he will make a comeback. his last debate was his best debate performance. but his numbers have been very poor. the establishment seems like is getting behind marco rubio. he needs momentum. inwill probably not win iowa. inald trump is doing well
new hampshire. i think marco rubio will make a move in new hampshire, and that is hard when you have candidates like john kasich, chris christie, and jeb bush who are fighting for voters as well. they will not bow out until after new hampshire. trying to predict politics is like predicting sports. cannot do it. you have to look at those three top contenders as the favorites. this race could go on for a wild. -- while. it will not be settled anytime soon. a story about marco rubio's aloofness and the day to day grind. ready to dos as not the retail politics that you need to do. they didam sure not like that headline, but it happens in political journalism.
he is very good on the stump. he is arguably the most consistent evader -- debater in the first a few debate. s. but donald trump does not go into diners, doing that retail politics. the joke in is i do not know i will vote for him, i have only met him two or three times. people like to meet him and ask their own questions. they have done town halls and took questions, but long donald trump's perspective he is done a lot more rallies rather than going into small places. that is tough for him to do, and it's tough for hillary clinton to do as well because she has so many people around her. to rope off the media, but there is a media horde that always troubles with donald trump and hillary clinton ravels with donald trump
and hillary clinton. as far as marco rubio, they like his vision. but he needs to make a move in january, because he is not number one. he has to win one of the first four states to have a real shot. editor in chief of the hill and thanks for coming on. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2015] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] announcer: we have new coverage with hillary clinton at 6:00 homegrownating terrorism at the university of
minnesota in minneapolis, and her plan includes efforts to shut down isis recruitment,. jihadists from getting training muslims, and empowering communities to fight against radicalization. host: welcome, everybody. today, it is my pleasure to introduce hillary clinton. [laughter] host: she is running for president of the united states. [applause] : hillary is running for president to make the economy work for everyone, not just those at the top. she is running to make our democracy work for everyone, not just the special interests. she is also running to be commander in chief to keep america strong and american families safe and secure. as we all know maybe too well, there are a lot of people
running for president this year. [laughter] host: but hillary is the only candidate who has the strength, wisdom, and experience to be commander in chief. the recent attacks in san bernardino and paris remind us that we are in a global world. using technology to orchestrate terror attacks and strike fear in free and peaceful people, so as we all know, the stakes are high, and we need a president who is up to the job. will not need on-the-job training. as secretary of state, she led the charge to restore america's ship in the world. a globalheaded sanctions coalition, and she --
excuse me. she did more here. hold on. [laughter] : she spearheaded a global sanctions coalition to keep iran from getting a nuclear weapon, working for a resolution between israel and hamas, while championing causes around the world. thethen involved in operation to bring osama bin laden to justice. she has been the only candidate in the race to lay out a specific and comprehensive plan to defeat isis in every place that it presents a threat. in the middle east, around the world, and, here at home. minnesota, ando may i thank her for coming to this wonderful university of hours? [chers and applause]
host: she is here to give more details on the last part of her plan, protecting american schools, houses of worship, and businesses from domestic radicalization and foreign extremists. i have known hillary for a long time. there is no one i trust more to sit in the oval office, so in welcoming the next president of the united states, hillary clinton. [cheers and applause] host: good luck. mrs. clinton: thank you, thank you. thank you. thank you all very much. [applause] mrs. clinton: thank you.
[applause] mrs. clinton: i am -- i am -- thank you. i am delighted, delighted to the here at this great university, one of the premier institutions of education in our entire country. yes, indeed. you know, one of those statements of fact that deserves a response. longtime thank my friend, vice president mondale, for his kind words. support means a great deal to me personally because i admire so much his service to our country. --is a great minnesota and , and it is an honor and privilege to have him here today. [applause]
mrs. clinton: i also want to acknowledge a few of the other elected officials here. i am, of course, delighted to be joined by former colleagues and friends, your senators amy klobuchar and al franken, who -- [applause] mrs. clinton: who are quite the dynamic duo for your state, and im am grateful to them for everything they are doing and for their help and support of my campaign. i also want to thank tina smith, your lieutenant governor, and steve simon, your secretary of date. and -- your secretary of state. becky understand that hodges is here, the mayor of minneapolis. acknowledgeant to
the dean of the humphrey school, eric schwartz. eric was my top adviser on refugee issues at the state department. i also had the great privilege of working with him when he was on the national security council during my husband's administration. mix ofw, he brings a expertise and empathy that has been conspicuously missing from much of our public debate, and i am grateful he is here today, but i am also a little jealous that all of you here at the university get to have the benefit of his experience. several, over the past months, i have listened to the problems that keep american families up at night. most people don't expect life to be easy, but they want more security, a good-paying job that
lets you afford a middle-class lifestyle, health care you can count on, a little bit put away for your retirement. being secure also means being safe. home, at school, at work. and today, i want to talk about how we keep our country safe from a threat that is on everyone's minds, the threat of terrorism, but i want to begin by saying we cannot give in to fear. we cannot let it stop us from doing what is right and this is and doingke us safe it in a way that is consistent with our values. [applause] mrs. clinton: we cannot let fear pushed us into reckless actions that end up making us less safe.
americans are going to have to act with both courage and clarity. now, as we all know, on december peopleshooters killed 14 at a holiday party in san bernardino, california. in 2015,america turning on the news and hearing about a mass shooting is not unusual. but this one turned out to be different, because these killers were a husband and wife inspired by isis. americans have experienced terrorism before. on 9/11, we learned that terrorists in afghanistan could strike our homeland. from fort hood to chattanooga to the boston marathon, we saw people radicalized here carrying
out deadly attacks. but san bernardino felt different. maybe it was the timing, coming so soon after the paris attacks. maybe it was how random it seemed. a terrorist attack in a suburban office park, not a high-profile target or symbol of american power. it made us all feel it could have been anywhere at any time. shooter"e "active should not be one we have to teach our children, but it is. [applause] clinton: and now, we are all grappling with what this means for our future, for our city the, our sense of well-being, and our trust and
connections -- for our safety, our sense of well-being, and our trust and connections. be openhearted, and we want to celebrate america's diversity, not fear it, and while we know the overwhelming majority of people here and around the world hates isis and love peace, we do have to be prepared for more terrorists plotting attacks. just yesterday, a man in maryland was charged with receiving thousands of dollars from isis for use in planning an attack, and here in minnesota, authorities have charged 10 man with conspiring to provide material support to isis. cities, you have also seen firsthand how communities come together to
resist radicalization. condemning this, others pushing back against terrorist propaganda. i just met with a group of community leaders who told me about some of the work and the challenges that they are dealing with. as the first somali american police sergeant in minnesota and probably in the country said recently, safety is a shared responsibility, so we have to work together. the threat -- [applause] clinton: the threat we face is daunting, but america has overcome big challenges many times before. throughout our history, we have
stared into the face of evil and refuse to link. fascism, won the cold war, brought osama bin laden to justice, so no one should ever underestimate the determination of the american people, and i am confident we will once again choose resolve over fear. [applause] mrs. clinton: and we will defeat these enemies just as we have defeated those who threatened us in the past, because it is not enough to contain isis. we must defeat isis, break its momentum, and then it's back, and not just isis but the broader radical jihadist movement that also includes al qaeda and offshoots like .l-shabaab in somalia
require serious leadership, waging this fight, but unfortunately, our political debate has been anything but serious. we can't afford another major ground war in the middle east. that is exactly what isis once -- wants to us. slogans do not add up to a strategy. [cheers and applause] mrs. clinton: promising to carpet bomb until the desert glows doesn't make you sound strong. it makes you sound like you're in over your head. applause]d mrs. clinton: bluster and bigotry are not credentials for becoming commander in chief, and it is hard to take seriously
but thenwho talk tough hold up key national security nominations, including the top official at the treasury department responsible for disrupting terrorist financing. [applause] mrs. clinton: every day that is wasted on partisan gridlock could put americans in danger, so, yes. we need a serious discussion, and that is why in a speech last month before the council on foreign relations, i laid out a three-part plan to defeat isis and the broader extremist movement. one, defeat isis in the middle stronghold,hing its hitting its fighters, leaders, and infrastructure from the air, and intensifying support for local forces who can pursue them
on the ground. defeat them around the world by dismantling the global that suppliesror radical jihadists with money, arms, propaganda, and fighters, and third, defeat them here at plots, foiling disrupting radicalization, and hardening our defenses. now, these three lines of effort reinforce one another, so we need to pursue them all at once using every pillar of american power. it will require skillful diplomacy to continue secretary efforts to encourage political reconciliation in iraq and political transition in syria, enabling more sunni arabs and kurdish fighters to take on isis on both sides of the border , and to get our arab and turkish partners to actually step up and do their part.
it will require more u.s. and allied air power and a broader target set for strikes high plains and drones with proper safeguards. train local forces and conduct key counterterrorism missions. what it will not require is tens of thousands of american combat troops. that is not the right action for us to take in this situation. so there is a lot to do. and today, i want to focus on the third part of my plan, how we defend our country and prevent radicalization here at home. we need a comprehensive strategy to counter each step in the process that can lead to an attack like the one in san bernandino. first, we have to shut down isis' recruitment in the united states, especially online. second, stop would-be jihadists
from getting training overseas and stop foreign terrorists from coming here. third, discover and disrupt plots before they can be carried out. fourth, support law law enforcement officers who risk their lives to prevent and respond to attacks. and fifth, empower our muslim-american communities who are on the front lines of the fight against radicalization. [applause] mrs. clinton: this is a 360-degree strategy to keep america safe. and i want to walk through each of the elements from recruitment to training, to planning, to execution. first, shutting down recruitment. we have to stop jihadists from radicalizing new recruits in social media and chat rooms and
what's called the dark web. to do that, we need stronger relationships between washington, silicon valley and all of our great tech companies and entrepreneurs. american innovation is a powerful force and we have to put it to work defeating isis. that starts with understanding where and how recruitment happens. our security professionals need to more effectively track and analyze ayesis' social posts and map networks and they need help from the tech community. companies should redouble their efforts to maintain and enforce their own service agreements and other necessary policies to police their networks, identifying extremist content
and removing it. now, many are already doing this and sharing those best practices more widely is important. at the state department, i started an interagency center to combat violent jihadist messages to have a better way to communicate on behalf of our values and to give young people drawn to those messages an alternative narrative. we recruited special lifts, fluent in urdu and somali to wage online battles with the extremists. these efforts have not kept pace with the threat, so we need to step up our game in partnership with the private sector and credible moderate voices outside of government. that is just somewhat what we have to do.
experts from the f.b.i., the intelligence community, state department and the technology industry should work together to develop a unified national strategy to defeat isis in cyberspace using all of our capabilities to denny jihadists virtual territory just as we work to denny them actual territory. at the same time, we have to do more to address the challenge of radicalization, whatever form it takes. it's imperative that the saudis, the kuwaitis and others stop their citizens from supporting madrasas and mosques around the world once and for all. and that should be the top priority in all of our discussions with these countries. second, we have to prevent isis recruits from training abroad and prevent foreign jihadists from coming here.
most urgent is stemming the flow from fighters from europe and iraq and syria and then back home again. the united states and our allies needs to know the identities of every fighter who makes that trip and then share information with each other in real-time. right now, european nations don't always alert each other when they turn away a suspected extremist at the border or when a passport is stolen. they have to dramatically improve intelligence sharing and counterterrorism cooperation. and we're ready to help them do that. we also need to take down the network of enablers who help jihaddists finance and facilitate their travel, forge documents and evade detection. and the united states and our allies should commit to revoke
the passports and visas of jihadists who have gone to join isis or other groups and bring the full force of the law against them. as i have said before, united states has to take a close look at our visa programs and i'm glad the administration and congress are stepping up scrutiny in the wake of san bernandino. and that should include scrutinizing applicants' social media postings. we also should dispatch more homeland security agents to high-risk countries to better investigate visa applicants. for many years, america has waived visa requirements with reliable procedures, including key allies in europe and asia. that makes sense, but we also have to be smart. except for limited exceptions like diplomats and aid workers, anyone who has traveled in the
past five years to a country facing serious problems with terrorism and foreign fighters should have to go through a full visa investigation no matter where they're from. we also have to be vigilant in screening and vetting refugees from syria, guided by the best judgment of our security and diplomatic professionals. rigorous vetting already takes place while refugees are still overseas. and it's a process that historically takes 18-24 months. but congress needs to provide enough resources to ensure we have sufficient personnel deployed to run the most thorough possible process. and just as importantly, we cannot allow terrorists to intimidate us into abandoning our values and our humanitarian obligations.
[applause] mrs. clinton: turning away orphans, applying a religious test that discriminates against muslims, slamming the door on every single syrian refugee, that is not who we are as americans. we are better than that. [cheers and applause] mrs. clinton: it would be a cool irony indeed if isis can force
families from their homes and also prevent them from finding new ones. so after rigorous screening, we should welcome families fleeing syria, just as the twin cities and this state have welcomed previous generations of refugees, exiles and immigrants. \[cheers and applause] mrs. clinton: of course the key is to prevent terrorists from exploiting our compassion and endangering our security, but we can do this. and i think we must. third, we have to discover and
disrupt jihadists' plots before they can be carried out. this is going to take better intelligence, collection analysis and sharing. i proposed an intelligence surge against isis that includes more operations officers and linguists. enhancing our surveillance of overseas' targets, flying more reconnaisance missions to track terrorist movements and developing closer partnerships with other intelligence services. president obama recently signed the u.s.a. freedom act which was passed by a bipartisan majority in congress. it protects civil liberties while maintaining capabilities that our intelligence and law enforcement officers need to keep us safe. however, the new law is under
attack from presidential candidates on the left and right. some would strip away counterterrorism tools even with appropriate judicial and congressional oversight and others seem to go back to discredited practices of the past. i don't think we can afford to let either view prevail. now, encryption of mobile devices and communications does present a particularly tough problem with important implications for security and civil liberties. law enforcement and counterterrorism professionals warned that impenetrenable encryption may make it harder to prevent future attacks. on the other hand, there are very legitimate worries about privacy, network security and creating new vulnerabilities that bad actors can exploit. i know there is no magic fix to this dilemma that will satisfy all these concerns, but we can't just throw up our hands.
the tech community and the government have to stop seeing each other as adverse sears and start working together to keep us safe from terrorists. and even as we make sure law enforcement officials get the tools they need to prevent attacks, it's essential that we also make sure that jihadists don't get the tools they need to carry out attacks. it defies common sense that republicans in congress refuse to make it harder for potential terrorists to buy guns. [cheers and applause] mrs. clinton: if you are too dangerous to fly, you are too dangerous to buy a gun. and we should insist -- [cheers and applause]
mrs. clinton: we should insist on comprehensive background checks and close loopholes that allow potential terrorists to buy online or at gun shows and i think it's time to ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines! [cheers and applause] mrs. clinton: i know that this will drive some of our republican friends a little crazy. you'll probably hear it tonight. they will say that guns are a totally separate issue. i have news for them.
terrorists use guns to kill americans and i think we should make it a lot harder for them to do that ever again! [cheers and applause] mrs. clinton: and there's a question they should be asked, why don't the republican candidates want to do that? you see, i have this old-fashioned idea that we elect a president in part, in large part, to keep us safe from terrorists, from gun violence, from whatever threatens our families and communities and i'm not going to let the gun lobby or anyone else tell me that that's not the right path for us to go down! [cheers and applause] mrs. clinton: the fourth element in my strategy is supporting law enforcement officers who risk their lives to prevent and respond to terrorist attacks. in san bernandino, city, county, state and federal authorities acted with speed and courage to prevent even more loss of life.
detective lazano, a 15-year police veteran assured terrified civilians, i'll take a bullet before you do. there is no limit to the gratitude we owe to law enforcement professionals like that detective who run toward danger to try to save lives. and not just in the immediate wake of an attack, emergency responders will keep putting their lives on the line long after the cameras move on. it is disgraceful that congress has failed to keep faith with first responders who are feeling the lasting effects of 9/11.
many of them were men and women i was so proud to represent as a senator from new york. it looks like majority leader mcconnell may have dropped his opposition. and i hope the american people will hold him to that and we will continue to honor the service and sacrifice of those who responded to the worst terrorist attack in our history. we have to make sure that local law enforcement has the resources and training they need to keep us safe. and they should be more closely synced with national counterterrorism experts like fusion centers that serve as
clearinghouses for intelligence and coordination. and we need to strengthen our defenses and wherever we are vulnerable whether it is shopping malls or higher profile targets like railways or airports. we have to build on the progress of the obama administration in locking down loose nuclear materials and other w.m.d. so they never fall into the hands of terrorists who seek them actively around the world. so we can be providing the department of homeland security with the resources it needs to stay one step ahead, not trying to privatize key functions like t.s.a., as some republicans have proposed. and it's important for us to recognize that when we talk about law enforcement, we have made progress in being sure that our federal authorities share information with our state and local authorities, but that was
an issue i tackled after 9/11, and we have to stay really vigilant so that information is in the hands where it needs to be. finally, the fifth element in the strategy is empowering muslim american communities on are on the front linings in the fight against radicalization. there are millions of peace-loving american muslims living, working, raising families, paying taxes in our country. [applause] mrs. clinton: these americans may be our first, last and best defense against home-grown radicalization and terrorism. they are the most likely to recognize the insidious effects of radicalization before it's too late, intervene to help set a young person straight.
they are the best position to block anything going forward. that's why law enforcement has worked so hard since 9/11 to buildup trust and strong relationships within muslim-american communities. here in the twin cities, you have an innovative partnership that brings together, parents, teachers, imams with law enforcement, nonprofits, local businesses, mental health professionals and others, to intervene with young people who are at risk. it's called the building community resilience pilot program and it deserves increased support. it has not gotten the financial resources that it needs to do everything that the people involved in it know they can do and we have got to do a better job of supporting it. [applause]
mrs. clinton: i know that like many places across the country there is more work to do to increase trust between communities and law enforcement. just last month, i know here, adown african-american man was fatally shot by a police officer and i understand an investigation is under way. whatever the outcome, tragedies like this raise hard questions about racial justice in america and put at risk efforts to build the community relationships that help keep us safe from crime and from terrorism. when people see that respect and trust are two-way streets, they are more likely to work hand in-in hand with law enforcement. one of the mothers of the 10 men
recently charged with conspiring, the terrorists said, we have to stop the denial, she told other parents that. we have to talk to our kids and work with the f.b.i. that's a message we need to hear from leaders within muslim-american communities across our country. but we also want to highlight the successes in muslim-american communities, and there are so many of them. i just met with the first somali-american member of the city council here -- \[applause] mrs. clinton: he was proudly telling me how much change somali immigrants, now muslim-americans have made in parts of the city and neighborhoods that have been pretty much hallowed out. let's look at the successes. if we are going to fully
integrate everyone in america, we need to be seeing all their contributions too. , and that is one of the many reasons why we must all stand up against offensive, inflammatory, hateful anti-muslim rhetoric. [cheers and applause] mrs. clinton: you know, not only do these comments cut against everything we stand for as americans, they are also dangerous. as the director of the f.b.i. told congress recently, anything that erodes trust with muslim-americans makes the job of law enforcement more
difficult. we need every community invested in this fight, not alienated and sitting on the sidelines. one of the community leaders i met with told me that a lot of the children in the community are now afraid to go to school. they're not only afraid of being perceived as a threat, they are afraid of being threatened because of who they are. this is such a open-hearted and generous community, i hope there will be even more efforts perhaps under the egis of the university and governor dayton and others to bring people together to reassure members of the community, particularly children and teenagers that they are welcome, invited and valued here in this city and state. \[applause]
mrs. clinton: now dodged trump's proposal to ban all muslims from entering the united states has rightly sparked outrage across the our country and around the world, even some of the other republican candidates are saying he's gone too far. but the truth is, many of those same candidates have also said, disgraceful things about muslims. and this kind of divisive rhetoric actually plays into the hands of terrorists. it alienates partners and undermines moderates.
we need around the world in this fight against isis. you know, you hear a lot of talk from some of the other candidates about coalitions. everyone seems to want one. [laughter] mrs. clinton: but there isn't nearly as much talk as it is to build a coalition and make it work. i know how hard it is. insulating potential allies doesn't make it any easier. \[cheers and applause] -- insulting potential allies doesn't make it any easier. [cheers and applause] mrs. clinton: demonizing muslims makes it that much harder. the united states is at war with islam. as both the pentagon and the f.b.i. have said in the past week, we cannot in any way lend credence to that twisted idea. this is not a clash of civilizations.
this is a clash between civilizations and barbarism and that's how it must be seen and fought. [applause] mrs. clinton: some will tell you that our open society is a vulnerability in the struggle against terrorism. i disagree. i believe our tolerance and diversity are at the core of our strengths. at a nationalization ceremony for new citizens today in washington, president obama noted the tension throughout our history between welcoming or rejecting the stranger, it is, he said, about the meaning of america, what kind of country do we want to be. and it's about the capacity of each generation to honor the
creed as old as our founding, out of many, we are one. president obama's right. and it matters. it's no coincidence that american muslims have long been better integrated and less susceptible to radicalization than muslims in less welcoming nations. and we cannot give in to demagogue who play on our basic instincts and rely on the principles written into our american d.n.a., freedom, equality, opportunity. america is strongest when all our people believe they have a stake in our country and our future, no matter where they're from, what they look like, who they worship or who they love. our country was founded by people fleeing religious persecution. as george washington put it. the united states gives to bigotry no sanctions, to
persecution, no assistance. so to all of our muslim american brothers and sisters, this is your country, too. and i'm proud to be your fellow american. [applause] mrs. clinton: and i want to remind us, particularly our republican friends that george bush was right. six days after 9/11, he went to a muslim community center and here's what he said. those who feel like they can intimidate our fellow citizens
to take out their anger don't represent the best of america, they represent the worst of humankind and they should be ashamed of that kind of behavior. [applause] so if you want to see the best of america, you need look no further than army captain khan. he was born in the united arab emirates and moved to maryland as a small child. he later graduated from the university of virginia before enlisting in the united states army. in june 2004, he was serving in iraq. one day while his infantry unit was guarding the gates of their
base, a suspicious vehicle appeared. captain khan told his troops to get back, but he went forward. he took 10 steps towards the car before it exploded. captain khan was killed, but his unit was saved by his courageous act. captain khan was awarded the bronze star and purple heart. he was just 27 years old. we still wonder what made him take those 10 steps, khan's father said in a recent interview. maybe that's the point he went on, where all the values, all the service to country, all the things he learned in this country kicked in. it was those values that made him take those 10 steps, those
10 steps told us we did not make a mistake in moving to this country, his father finished. as hard as this is, it is time to move from fear to resolve. it's time to stand up and say we are americans. we are the greatest nation on earth, not in spite of the challenges we face, but because of them. americans will not buckle or break. we will not turn on each other or turn on our principles. we will pursue our enemies with unyielding power and purpose. we will crush their would-be caliphate and encounter radical jihadism wherever it tax root. we are in it for the long haul and we will stand taller and stronger. that's what we do here. that's who we are. that's how we will win, by
looking at one another with respect, with concern, with commitment. that's the america that i know makes us all so proud to be a part of. thank you all very much. [cheers and applause] >> jeffrey smith is it for er missouri state senator. he was elected state senator in 2006 and until 2009 when he pleaded guilty for a conspiracy. his was sentenced to one year and one day in a kentucky federal prison. he chronicled his experience in his new book. washington journal continues. host: we are back with jeffrey smith, author of this book
mr. smith goes to prison. how did you end up in prison? guest: i will try to compress it. back in 2004 i was running for congress in a 10 way primarily the front runner was a guy named russ carnahan, who's father had been governor, and mother had been a u.s. senator. put together a nice operation of about 700 volunteers. we were building momentum. about a month before election day. a man wanted to put out a dismald highlighting his attendance record in the state house. instead of telling my age that they should not deal with an outside party, i said i do not want to know the details. him thed should we give voting record? and i said i do not want to
know. conference ands highlighted that myself. i figured the postcard would never come out. the next day the postcard he must saying the same things i had said the day before. a complaint, filed i found a false affidavit denying any knowledge of the postcard. five years later, when i was in the missouri senate, the man who did the postcard got picked up by the fence for a feds for array -- charges.array of they came and questioned me, and i stuck to my story. my best friend wore a wire and got me to admit to the false affidavit. host: what were the charges
against you? guest: affection of justice, and then five years later standing by that. host: where did you go to prison and for how long? guest: to be clear, the false affidavit was based on the underlying charge which would been illegal coordination with a third-party, which is the kind of thing that is a little more routine thiese days in the wake of citizens united and free speech. i went to prison for a year and a day in southeast kentucky. host: what kind of prison is that? there were two prisons on the compound. a minimum security prison where i live, a medium security prison where i worked. that -- on loading
unloading the food that we ate at the prison. host: did you serve your whole sentence? i served almost all of it, but i got off on good behavior. she gave a gift to me in that over one year is audible for a 15% reduction in your sentence. i sent 10 months -- served 10 months. en?t: she sent a message th yes.: prosecution of the
and sentence was a message to other politicians to say if you get caught up, you better do what we want. ont: what was the reaction the first day of entering the prison system to a state senator being in prison? guest: i walked into the intake was aand a woman who heavyset woman, a nurse, jotted down some things. she asked height and weight, education level, and then she said last profession. i said state senator. she said, if you want to play games, you can play games all you want. we have those here who thinks they are jesus christ, see you will fit right in. there was a disbelief.
not believe i didn't steal money. they asked how many millions i would s had stolen to get there. they would not believe it was postcard. a your nickname in prison? guest: i had to. senator, and white chocolate. i played a lot of basketball. prison?ur job in guest: we moved about 140,000 pounds of food every day. we had to move the new food to the back of the freezers, and the old stuff to the front. boxesat comes in 80 pound , and rice and sugar comes in
these huge bags. in the evenings i would play basketball. most nights i would lift weights , and then jot down notes on toilet paper or scraps of paper to remember what was happening in case i wanted to write a book afterwards. host: they got you in trouble. guest: those notes it did get me in trouble. the captain, right under the warden, he is like the dean of discipline. he approached me early in my tenure when he found out i was jotting down notes, and he gave me the business and accused me of breaking prison rules. he said i was illegally conducting business in the prison, because he suspected as we to make money off a book. i said i was not going to make money while i was there, and nothing i was doing was illegal
according to the handbook. he told me my interpretation did not matter and threw me in the hole for six months while he investigated. got myix hours later i present assignment working in the warehouse. it was seen as a good way to occupy me and where we had -- out. mear me the other guys in the warehouse were all over 200 and 50 pounds. it was a running joke on the prison yard that i was doing heavy lifting. host: when he said he would throw you in the hole, he met solitary confinement? guest: he did. host: i would like our viewers to call in about the criminal justice system. there seems to be bipartisan support on moving on that.
we urge our viewers to call in with your questions or comments for mr. smith, a former missouri state senator. he spent almost a year and a day in prison. a fourth line this morning for those of you who have experience in the prison system, either side of it. we want to hear your story as well. the phone lines are open. moving the food, thousands of pounds of food, taught you something about how the prison system works. tell that story. host: they taught me a lot of things. the first thing i learned was about snitch is. about a week into my tenure -- the first day of my tenure in the warehouse, i was told i could do anything i want to do
as long as i did not steal. doneded to get my work , and we would get extra food if we did not steal. i saw everyone else saran wrapping green peppers and chicken around their chest before they went home. told they were going to plant raw meat in my freezer jacket. . asked why i i was told getting caught with me was one of the worst offenses because of e. coli. they are all bodybuilding, and up.an help al bulk
it can spoil in transit, and of theousands of members present compound. they were going to plant it because they thought i was a snitch because i was not stealing food. start stealing food so i did not face a larger consequence of being caught with meat. host: so you started stealing. guest: i figured if i stole bananas, green peppers, things like that, i would just get thrown in the shoe. but i would not get sent to a
higher security prison. prisoners stole because they needed a hostile. .ost prisoners are destitute most people do not understand that. most prisoners do not have a penny to their name. they have all of their belongings and savings taken away because of our asset forfeiture laws. they come to prison, and have to find a way to afford the basics. deodorant, so, toothpaste, tooth brush. pricesve to buy them at that are marked up, despite the fact that their wages are incredibly low. a may $5.25 a month. it comes in to about three cents an hour. if you need to buy the basics, the phone calls cost about $1.50 a minute. if you would to stay in touch or have ae from home,
half decent life in prison, you're going to have to find a hustle. their house was to steal food and then sell it when we got back to the yard. host: how much money could they get? guest: it is complicated. everything in prison operates through cigarettes or stamps. , connections of prisoners on the outside might why your money to a different prisoners account, as a way to purchase a large amount of goods from a prisoner who is stealing something. the way it works on the prison yard is through stamps and cigarettes, but the way that money is supplemented is one prisoner has a lot of money stored away somewhere on the outside. he can have his friend wire money to another prisoner who he is transacting business with. host: all of this breaks the rules of prison. what kind of culture do we have
in our american prison system? guest: that is one of the main arguments of the book, that prison does not do anything to rehabilitate those people. in fact, it reinforces a lot of the tendencies of people who are incarcerated to operate outside the rules, or the mainstream economy. one of the kiwis is something we're talking about here. because prisoners are so or they are always working to develop a hustle. that has a couple of consequences. first of all, it creates an amazing capacity for ingenuity on the part of the prisoners. i saw prisoners who were running all types of businesses. there were bookies, guys running tattoo parlors, but there were also prisoners who made money helping to write legal briefs prisoners. the jailhouse lawyers. they were pictures who drew portraits of other prisoners children or mothers or wives
that they could send home on their face or holidays -- on their birthdays or holidays. there were businesses ranging from legal to illegal. and then never guys who smuggled in contraband. it sounds like entrepreneurship. guest: it was. the most lucrative offer i got was to go and help smuggle in a duffel bag that was full of items that would carry a lot of value on the compound. i declined doing that, but after some prisoners saw me on the basketball court, they say you are very fast, you can probably get to the edge of the compound , and we in 45 seconds will give you several hundred dollars for doing that. i was not even the least bit tempted. host: let's to turn to our col.
david in lafayette. caller: what are your plans for the future? guest: thanks for the question and for calling in. i am now a professor of public policy at the new school in new york city. i keep students getting the masters degrees in public policy. i work in missouri on affordable public housing policy. i'm an advocate for criminal justice reform. i speak around the country for the issue. t to improve conditions around the country in prisons. for: dennis on our line those with experience in the prison system. what was your experience? i think pretty much everything you just said pretty
much summed it up. that is the way it is. it is not meant to reform were given opportunity. there were opportunities to go to school and do different things. when your main objective is surviving, i am a little white guy. it is a little different when you have gains running a prison system. i am trying to not rely -- to survive without hustling, it causes my family to go further down. i ended up leaving my family's work -- a depleting my family's work to send me money. this guy is costing me money. you have to look at it from all the aspects of what happens in there. you are forced to hustle. when you are forced to hustle, and make you laugh, make you cry, but the same time, it ends up pushing the family for an
deeper indeeper and the hole. they feel like they have used up all the resources. they do not want to keep taking from their family. it forces you to get out with the same abilities. when the temptation comes, and you're tempted to say i can make honey and get out from forcing my family -- of course family wants to help somebody in need, but you do not want to keep taking from them. host: right. guest: i totally sympathize with what you say about prisons lack of rehabilitation. there were three courses offered in the year that i was there. one was a course in hydroponics, how to grow tomatoes in water for two weeks, because what could prepare you for successful reentry, better than that? course that no one paid any attention to, and there was a computer skills course offered him a one hour
course. we were told to go in and sign in. and we sat at a computer, and we were ordered to push the button on the bottom right and turn the computer on. we did that and then we sat in silence for a half hour, and a half hour later, he said remember that button on the bottom right, push it again and then get the link back to your cell. we sat there for absolutely no reason. the prison could then send our sign in sheet to the federal bureau of prisons and earn a stipend for all these prisoners who had completed a computer skills course. of course, most of the geither nothing, had never worked on a computer on their life, and were going out totally unprepared to find a job online. host: is there any way to complain when you are in the prison system? what was the reaction to your
book from the prison you were at? guest: complaining can get you in a lot of trouble. forms which you have to fill out to file a formal complaint on aco or any prison worker. the minute you start filing those coming you're are instantly tagged as someone who is troubled. but they often do is they send you to therapy. therapy means he will be put on , with yourcuffed legs and your arms, and you will go from bus to bus to bus around the country for 6, 8, 10 months from holding cell to holding cell. no one will know where you are, your family cannot write you, you cannot make phone calls. that is what they do to prisoners that they perceive to be instigating or causing trouble, diesel therapy.
usually, people want to avoid that lifestyle. holdingyou go to a new and in a different city, there are new games that are in control, new people at you have to figure out how to fit in with. that is the central challenge in prison, just surviving. the more changes that go along with that, the harder it is to fit in. that is what happens when you complain. host: reaction to your book? ,uest: while i was incarcerated most of the prisoners were amused by it, and every time they would do something funny, they with a did you get that, senator, make sure to put that in your book. osere were a couple of c that would make fun of me and tell me no one cared about anything going on in prison. thankfully, we have come a long , andn the last five years people are starting to pay attention to the horrors of our
prison system. host: the book is mr. smith goes to prison. smith, a former missouri state senator spent almost a year behind bars. his sentence was a year and a day. what is your behind desk is year behind bars taught him about the american prison crisis. it is part of the discussion on reform in our present system, a bipartisan discussion. with your you questions and comments for mr. smith. we will go to dylan, republican from montana. caller: thanks for following through and writing a book. i own a small furniture company, and i hire ex offenders, and we are public about that. i think it is something more than this owner should be doing
-- that business owners should be doing. one of my workers developed becausehrenia being alone in a cell, and a lot of us could not handle that. people are spending 20 years there, and by the dozens. individuals,'s reforms that are coming across the board. -- not even just tax breaks, but focus of the to encourage business owners to hire ex offenders? a large part of the reentry that can help guys that are just released to fight the things that hold them back? the inability to sacrifice for the common good, and there anger and frustration?
guest: a great question, james, thanks for calling. your first point, about solitary, nearly every other industrial democracy in the world has gone rid of solitary confinement. judges in this country have called it slow motion torture. you can see the effects of that in our prisons. secondly, you talk about reentry. over 650,000 people come out of our prisons every year. almost 95% of people who are in prison who arn are going to come back to society. people, to our entities, the same places they have already failed once before. now they have the added sick bay, of a prison record -- stigma of a prison record. they have no money, lack of training. every dollar we spend inside of presence can save us over five
dollars in recidivism if we bend those dollars wisely. yet, we do that in very few prisons. it is a big problem. a good do not do job of dealing with a bigger management. with anger management inside of prisons. there was no counseling when i was incarcerated. there's a small work opportunity tax credit to employers who hire ex offenders. the energy from this is probably going to have to come from employers around the country, like i never thought i would be on national tv praising the koch brothers. they said they will ban the box and higher more ex offenders. -- hire more ex offenders.
one company in oregon, one third of their employees are asked offenders. they are training other employees index offenders. -- employees and ask offenders ex-offenders. host: when you got out of prison, but was it like to find a job? hard, i had every advantage. i was very well educated with a phd from a great university. i had tons of community support. 300 people wrote letters on my behalf, they requested clemency.
i suffered no serious difficult or no while incarcerated psychological trauma. advantagead every relative to most people coming out of prison. i sat around the table with the group that wanted to hire with the consultant. the last person who asked me a question on the board, why should we be the group for hiring you? the newspapers are going to write ugly stories about us. once you have the stench off you.
that hurt. to my firstkful employer. also to the new school. they are willing to overlook my criminal background. for overlooking my criminal background. host: that salary offer was much than you would have been offered had you not gone to prison? guest: the man who called me, i for, thank you very much reaching out to me, i appreciate it. pity.d, this isn't he said, had you left the senate different circumstances, i would offer you 10 to 20 times as much as i'm about to offer you. so i was incredibly lucky to find work. people comingf out of prison are unemployed a year later and the main reason people reoffend is financial struggle. surprised.t be
nine out of 10 employers perform background checks. four out of five landlords do same. most will never hire or rent to someone with a criminal that's a tragedy. until we change some of those policies, we'll probably keep seeing sky high recidivism rates. guest: you mentioned a couple of companies that give jobs to exconvicts. do they pay enough? have toost ex-cons will take low-wage jobs when they come out. of employers and they say nobody works harder in my companies than the people of prisoners. prisons. they are so grateful to have a job, they work their tail and andthey're incredibly loyal want to prove themselves. that's the response i have been getting. calls.ack to from indiana, a republican. morning.ood
i think of myself more of an neitherent but that's here nor there. awas an officer and correctional counselor with the directionsartment of and i hear everything you're saying and i agree with most of it. findnk that you might different experiences in prisons as far as programming available but i also know some of that is funding related and that can change on public perception and priorities within the legislature and so forth. my question to you, mr. smith -- have a a couple of questions. you say your view on the prison system was before having gone in compared to out?g when you're talking about the hustle andthe everything where it's a system reinforce itsto
value, having gone through it, what would you -- if you were in house or state legislature -- combatto comdat that and reverse that and how you would classify some of your relationships with prison staff as well as some of the inmates? thank you very much for your your book. guest: thank you so much for the question and calling in. you asked about my views before after. before, when i was in the senate, in missouri, i worked a reform.riminal justice i represented one of the poorest districts in the state and our many, many people incarcerated and one of the accomplishments i was proudest of as a senator was passing a bill that changed most convictions for criminal means, men --ch predominantly men who struggle to pay child support after they a job,id off from changing the penalty from felony andisdemeanor in many cases
changing it from a crime that thated jail time to one got an alternative sentence parentingn guild to classes, vocational training, substance abuse counseling, they needed. i supported criminal justice reform before i got there but i openedely had my eyes when i arrived. you talk about the hustling and say, there's not a single concept that you'd learn at harvard business school or wharton that you couldn't learn inside prison. talking about new product launch control, territorial expansion, risk management, fairness of entry, supply chain management. every one of these concepts from insidel you could learn prison through the lens of the drug trade because 95% of the was incarcerated with had been successful drug dealers borne outside so they were capitalists. what policies could improve things? well, you asked about that.
number one, i think we've got to do more to nurture this entrepreneurial talent inside of prisons. there are a couple of non-profits doing that, one is the prison entrepreneurship program based in texas. do an eight-month-long business school course for incarcerated in a couple of prisons there and over the last 11 years, the recidivism thanfor graduates is less one 10th the national rate. is a tonuggests there of potential for them to be outside.l on the finally, you asked about my relationship with -- and of another policy. we've got to put more support in place for people coming out of prison. $50 and sending them to a halfway house in the same community where they failed the same connections that got them into trouble before isn't going to help gottenif they shouldn't
the skill when they go into prison. othermark and in countries, the minute you go into prison, they ask you, what your skills and how can we build on them for the next five years so you don't struggle economically when we put you out gainfulcan get employment so you never come back. westernhy in a lot of european countries the recidivism rate is less than a is in the what it united states. and you asked about my relationship with the c.o.'s. c.o.'sere a couple of that were probably decent people. i apologize to correctional there if you think i painted with too broad a brush in the book but my experience them were notof very nice. a couple of them were pretty cruel. and sadly, the one or two that were halfway polite or respectful, if you got talking to them, if you got caught much as a them too
prison, you were instantly suspected of being a snitch so to have anyy hard decent relationship with one. the question. for host: here's a tweet. doesn't want to meaningfully reform the prison sentence because of the expenditure." guest: it would cost a lot of but it'sdo it shortsighted not to. in prison education is one of the smartest investments we can make because if we can cut recidivism 10% -- the rand corporation put out a study at prison education programs around the nation inwing a 43% reduction whodivism who prisons successfully complete high quality education programs and billions ofave dollars every year and get rid of the revolving door that we're think that'sr so i
where we should focus efforts. host: this headline, president obama gives commuted sentences to 95 -- guest: i would like to see him people.ore than two he's pardoned very few people. commuting sentences is one thing if you commute their sentence, these guys still have the stain of a criminal background when they try to for a job when they get home so instead of 95 commuted pardoned, i'd like to see it 95 commuted and 95 pardoned if he believes they're worth pardoning. i'd also like to see an expedited program. right now there's thousands of federal prisons are applying for sentences based on a that former attorney general eric holder gave and so longpeals are taking to get through the system that the president may be out of arece before most of them
even dealt with and so we've got moret more staff, attorneys, at d.o.j. to really make sure that those are adequately examined. california,eph in independent. caller: hello, mr. smith. i like to tell you about a when you're tainted in the law, no longer entitled to and privileges of the law for the rest of your life, becoming civilly dead. even legal. article one, section 9 and 10 of legislature and the federal congress shall pass no attainter and you do them all the time. once you finish your time, it's over. host: mr. smith? guest: joseph, it's a great point. we ask prisons who come home to tontegrate into society and
be contributing members and yet the mosthing that's fundamental aspect of citizenship in this country, states, voting, in many you're not even allowed to do. and there are many other ways in stain of a prison record hurts you, whether as we talked about, it's employment or housing or owning a gun. sympathetic to that argument as the earlier two but it does stay with you for life in many cases. i agree with you, that goes against everything that this andtry should be about nowhere, in no realm do i feel about that than? the realm of voting. the first thing we should do for everyone who comes home is to try to get them thinking like an american, a citizen of a get them civically engaged and the key way to do say, here'se to your franchise back and let's you a civic course to teach
engaged.o be more host: a democrat calling. caller: good morning. my question to you, mr. smith, went intowhen you prison -- i'm sure it changed you a lot. prison, i'mut of sure you think back and i'm sure you probably got lonely. but nobody really to converse with, your ideas. was the main person, when you were doing -- when you were that had really an even though they probably wouldn't have been getting out of prison any time in thereight have been longer. who really -- who really guess?ted you more, i who really caught your curiosity? thank you. guest: that's such a great question. there was a guy who worked with warehouse, whose name
sort of the he was prison supervisor, the inmate supervisor. he overheard a conversation between me and another prisoner one day about my former best friend who wore the wire on me about that joking and he could tell i still resented my friend and he came told me that his brother-in-law had ratted him the feds where his stash of drugs were. his first that for four or so years in prison, he woke up every day thinking of how he would kill his brother-in-law. he spent all day every day thinking about how he would do and he couldn't sleep at night because every time he would fall asleep, he would or have nightmares about strangling this is brother-in-law. after a fewday years, he realized that he was if heto kill himself
didn't change and he decided he was going to forgive his and do the rest of his time and he told me that becausehave to do that otherwise the betrayal would stay with me and make me an bitter person and i wouldn't be able to go on with my life. effort to doade an that. friend andorgive my he was exactly right. every day since then, just as it him, has been a little bit easier than the day before and a little bit better. ofre's a tremendous amount wisdom inside of prison and that colleague of mine in the warehouse, that was just one occasion, but there were many that when the perspective he gained after doing about a decade in prison was incredibly me.able to host: what was the reaction from told themy when you you were going to prison? guest: my mom's instant reaction i tell you not to go
into politics? how many times did i tell you? dad asked me if i needed help to get a lawyer. my mom was right. she told me in my very first is ridiculous, you have no business running for congress and you should go to anish your ph.d. and be professor. so my mom's reaction was a of "i told you so." host: in your personal life, you fact that youe had a girlfriend and the time the f.b.i. knocked on your door, what was happening? guest: two days before the feds knocked on my door, my then-girlfriend moved into my house. when they did knock on my door, after i went to my parents' after i learned my friend had been wearing the wire, went house and told them and i went to my girlfriend's work place and i told her. at thought i was joking first, because i like to play
her,ical jokes and i told no, look, i'm probably going to have to go to prison and this is for so ifou signed up i were you, i would go to my house tonight and get your boxes -- because she hadn't unpacked them -- and take them i won't come home tonight so you can do that in peace without me looking over your shoulder if you'd like and she told me, that's ok, i want and i'mome home tonight not going anywhere. 4 year-oldow have a son and 2-year-old daughter and happily married, good theresa. host: calling from brooklyn, independent. caller: i worked in a not-for-profit as a job developer for 35 years. i was working for the formerly prison release program. i wish i had about two or three hours to speak to you.
i just finished reading "a country called prison" and i'm your out today to buy book. a couple of quick thoughts. you were correct. happenicides in prison in solitary confinement. it is inhumane. recruited for i the grant program came out traumatized. i wish i had all my numbers in front of me but approximately 2.3 million folks are in prison and in our jails and i realized some people that belong in prison but i'm talking offenders,on-violent especially drug-related where i don't think drugs are a criminal offense. i think it's an illness and disease. --ooked at the focus that folks that are in prison. when they come out, senator -- just want to approach it from a cause standpoint with that many people in jails and prisoners -- when people get too old to work, are they going
type of retirement benefits are they going to get from social security? do they go? do they go on the entitlement programs and public -- this is bankrupt our country because we know that the nottlement programs are sustainable now. there are so many issues at you think and when feed, guard clothe, people, the cost per person is staggering and i can go in 20 different directions right now like to get your gotten a-- and i've few listening to you this morning. once the system gets you, they release you. host: jerry, i'm going to have the tv, put the phone down and listen to our guest's response. guest: jerry, thanks for calling in from brooklyn. you're right about the costs. once theso right about
system gets you, it doesn't let go of you. one of the fastest growing in our prisons around aarp,untry are members of senior citizens. there's a concept scholars have identified. called criminal menopause and when it mean is that most once they're about 50 years old or so, they are highly unlikely to reoffend. that's actually particularly true of violent offenders who committed a violent crime before they were fully neurologically, when they were 18, 19 years old. once they do 20, 25, 30 years in prison and they have not had prison, the chances that they'll reoffend are and yet we're keeping many of them there and 60's.eir 50's that's incredibly expensive for society. their health needs are huge. cost in the six
figures per year to incarcerate. it makes absolutely no sense. and we need one of the things we look at as ao country is aging in prison and backly releasing people into their communities who are highly unlikely to reoffend. yes, people do come out and eventually will get social security. they will participate in our programs just like anyone else. the problem is that because of the lack of training inside of of support when they get out, they won't spend their 40's, 50's and early 60's to those programs so they will be a net cost to changentry if we don't our we do inside of prisons. host: thomas lewis wants to know for-profitts on prisons. regard potential
legislatures? they enterany cases states,tracts with municipalities or cities that ensure the prisons are filled 25 years.e next that means even if crime plummets in a community or a state, even if there's sentencing reform to reduce the length of terms, that jurisdiction will have to figure contract -- they're ually oblicated to fill those beds no matter what. doesn't make any sense. we should not -- this country not have -- should not allow -- i don't think we should prisons in general but we definitely shouldn't allow counties to tie their own
hands by entering into such contracts. i don't say private prisons bad, prisons good. public prisons experience toilar structural incentives private ones. the last chapter of the book is next year" andou that's what one c.o. would tell every prison when they were he would use a derogatory term after that and you remind me i'm always going to have a job. as jobewed prisoners security. that's a publicly run prison, very similar incentives to what private prisons and we shouldn't lose sight of that. host: going to illinois. republican, also experienced with the prison system. tell us your story. caller: actually, i identified as independent but i guess that doesn't matter. experience is that i'm a nurse that works at a jail and a teaches mental health nursing so what i feel the nurse hadow
said, you're going to fit right in here because there's a lot of people here who think they're christ. wow, that's serious mental illness, that person has a it i seeand a lot of is people that are suicidal and mentally ill. it's like we have nothing else to do with them but to put them like a we would call padded cell and that's actually not therapeutic for them so the only thing we can do that we think that keeps them safe, actually is doing them more harm than good. part, with the mental health kind of thing is the drug know and like people coming in for drug offenses with serious addiction issues. i work at a county jail so we see people short term and they that there's no need for programs because it's such a short-term stay. they're in there less than a opposite.hat's the i know stuff gets smuggled into
prisons and that but i can'tee your experience, do you think people could really carry on an addiction in prison? can use drugs, but to have the serious using, 10, day?gs of heroin a was your experience that people could use that much drugs in jail? guest: drugs were readily prison where ie was and most of the prison nurses i've talked to other placesat would say they could get what they needed via smuggling. i'm not sure -- it's probably not at the level where they frequentlye drug as as on the outside but your point is well taken. drugve to do more real counseling and view this more as a public health issue and have puttment facilities that we people towards instead of incarcerating them through being drug users. the mental health issue is real. you're right, solitary does to ameliorate these exacerbates instead
them and the other area we haven't touched on, because it's taboo, that's important to talk about, is rape inside of prisons. 300,000 prisoners every year, according to surveys of incarcerated, are sexually assaulted every year in prison, more than the number of people raped eachprison year. and the way witalerate this kind culture -- our attitude in society in particular, i think, a lot of people who work in corrections, not all, but some, view it as, hey, you know crime, then did the whatever happens to you in prison, you probably deserve it. that's really a horrible view of things but it's also incredibly myopic because in so many cases the same men who are raped inside of prison come out of prison and are disproportionately likely to try to reclaim the manhood they
believe was stolen from them in the same violent way once they ame out and so it's terrible -- has a terrible impact on public safety to of culture inkind prison and even though we have passed on the federal level a prison rape elimination act, the federal government isn't even the most basically 10 10 tenets of that, reporting the number of rapes every year. we have a long, long way to go. host: hampton, virginia, susan, a republican there. learned, i thing i don't want to go to prison. the prisonent is, industrial complex, i sort of like ithuckled about it can't be for year but what i learned the last a couple of least in the state of virginia, if you have a felony, you cannot work in a
of a.b.c. because law. and i think there's other laws work in aan't hospital setting or an old folk's home because you might of felony or kind that. so the money the federal puts into prisoner rehab programs is negated by the same laws that the federal and pass.governments host: let's have jeff smith talk about that. guest: you're exactly right. i'm notples you cite, familiar with virginia state statutes but they don't surprise me. in other states, if you have a felony conviction, you can't even be a beautician or do hair braiding. things like that. you're exactly right. any money we do spend on rehabilitation and vocational training is offset by these ridiculous statutes. i totally agree. host: we'll try to take a couple with hur -- our
guest, jeff smith, about his what itprison and taught him about america's prison crisis. i do want to share that lindsey graham, senator from south carolina, has decided to suspected his presidential the announcement coming on the same day as the deadline for him to remove his name from the south carolina primary ballot, a date closely watched amid speculation that polling graham would want to avoid a poor performance contest.n state's that's reported this morning. to kathy in albuquerque, new mexico, a democrat. caller: i actually first wanted to say, greta, i watch -- i always watch espn. i'm -- c-span, i'm kind of a nerd that way. i think you're so great and so fair. i wish you always ran the show. saw your story on "book tv," i was watching, and i and it about your story was just so inspirational to me. felt a need to reach out to the people in prison but
been kind of fearful because i don't know anybody there and i never have but i have this deep -- something within me that i want to reach out to them and just your story and your book, just gave me such great insight and i don't know if you have anything you can offer that advise mebe able to because i still have this strong desire, especially after hearing your story. so glad your beautiful family stuck with you. me any adviceer on how i can reach out, i really people.for those guest: thank you so much for the kind words. particular, those about my family. thank you for your interest in who areto serve people incarcerated. let me tell you, it doesn't matter whether you know someone there or not. i would encourage anyone watching to reach out to a friend, anyonea they've known who is incarcerated but i would
youurage you to do so if don't know anyone there. the amount of loneliness and of prison isinside just overwhelmed me. nothing was sadder than watching man who had saved up all month month wage or $15 a to get $2 to make a one-minute or two-minute phone call back home and then have the phone cut out before he had a chance to daughter.s son or there is so much lonelyless and pen pal, if be a you could go to a prison to visit with people, people would talk to you, as other callers have alluded to, the prior one in particular, there are serious mental health issues and part of that is because the culture of prison you can't ever show emotion because showing emotion prisoners have no one to talk to or explain the feelings of loneliness. bottled up and they too frequently come out via
aggression. are tons of non-profits that do work in this realm. i'm involved, i'm on the board the prison entrepreneurship program and you don't have to be person to volunteer with them. you can volunteer as a counselor and guideprison people spiritually or just listen. to listeneeds someone to and most in prison don't have anyone. officeill you run for again? guest: i got to tell you, the day that i go down to the courthouse to file for office into my wife run there filing for divorce. highlyhink it's unlikely. host: the book is "mr. smith goes to prison: what my year behind bars taught me about america's prison crisis." thank you, sir, fur your time this morning, talking to our out road to the white house coverage continues in new hampshire. this is the whipple memorial hall.